Facebook Charity Apps: (Lil) Green Patch and others


Facebook has quite a few apps (applications for the non-initiated, or perhaps non-inundated) that can be entertaining, and even help by minute increments to improve our world.

The precept of “(Lil) Green Patch” is that users of the app can help fight global warming. It works like this: the Facebook user “builds a Green Patch” with online friends, and the application shows a running count of the square feet of rainforest saved by everyone as they use the application.  Sponsors contribute the money which, minus expenses, is turned over to conservation groups like the Nature Conservancy.

A blogger named Ashley noted in Oct. ’08,  “The problem with this app [“(Lil) Green Patch”] is that all the plants have Caucasian faces. It’s so exclusionary. People have asked for plants with brown and black faces, but the developers refuse!”

I agree there could be more diversity in the faces to reflect a true global community, and wonder if the developers could really be so naive and uncaring as to refuse this reasonable request?

As of today, January 24, 2009, (Lil) Green Patch reported 5,811,857 monthly active users, and 96,124,167 Sq ft of rainforest saved, which is a little over 2,206 acres, or not quite 3.5 square miles.  (I apparently was responsible for 5 Sq ft of this territory as my “Personal Rainforest Saved, through tending my own little green patch.

Regarding other charity apps on Facebook, Green-writer Jennifer Kaplan on the website Ecopreneurist notes that Charity Navigator reveals that only seven out of over twenty–or about a third–were given 4-star ratings:

While I’ve enjoyed the fun of a virtual green patch, I think my time on Facebook will shift during 2009.


Published in: on January 24, 2009 at 4:26 pm  Comments (1)  
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  1. […] talks about Lil Green Patch’s racial discrimination and Facebook’s social contributions, which I had to admit, is more in depth than I bothered to think (white man’s burden: […]

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